Two different 31.8mm stems were shown; the gold coloured stem and the silver coloured one-piece stem. Before I decided on the stem to use, I installed them on the new handlepost and drop bar to try it out.
This is how the gold coloured stem looks. It is very similar to the LitePro stem, with the only difference being the clamp diameter of 31.8mm for oversized handlebars.
Gold coloured 31.8mm stem on the new 27cm Fnhon handlepost
This is how the new stem will be used. Instead of extending the reach, the stem is used to increase the height of the handlepost. The reason for using the stem this way is because I want to maintain the clamping height of the handlepost. The previous ABR drop bar was clamped directly to the top of the 31.5cm Fnhon handlepost. As I am now using the new stem for mounting an oversized drop bar, the handlepost needs to be shorter in order to maintain the same height. 27cm handlepost + 4.8cm stem gives an overall height of 31.8cm, which is almost the same as the 31.5cm Fnhon handlepost.
Height of the Fnhon handlepost + stem is about 31.5cm, similar to the previous setup.
The gold coloured stem matches nicely with the black colour of the handlepost and drop bar.
I also tried out the other one-piece stem, to see if it is better than the gold coloured stem. This stem is lighter and stronger than the gold stem, due to its one-piece design. The only downside is that the colour does not fit in as nicely with the rest of the bike.
Side view of the one-piece stem. Strictly speaking it is not one piece as there are 2 face plates on top, but the rest of the stem is machined as one-piece.
Open clamp design makes it easy to set up the handlebar
Putting on the new FSA Vero compact drop bar
Another side view of the stem and drop bar
Top view of the stem. Note that there are many clamp bolts here! 8 in total.
Overall height of handlepost + stem is about 31.7cm, which is almost the same as the 31.5cm Fnhon handlepost
Overall view of the drop bar, stem and handlepost.
It was time to make a decision. To use the gold coloured stem, or the silver coloured stem? In the end I decided to go with function over aesthetics. The silver one-piece stem was chosen for its better stiffness and lighter weight. The open clamp design will also be very useful if I need to remove the handlebar from the handlepost.
Before I installed the new components onto the bike, I compared it with the existing setup on the Dahon Boardwalk.
New compact drop bar on the right. See the difference in the angle and height of the drops. The compact drop bar has a much shallower drop which should be more comfortable.
Similar width of 400mm
Another picture comparing the shape of the drop bars.
Side by side comparison of the new setup (on the left) and the old setup (on the right). Distance between the centre of the drop bar and the base of the handlepost is the same.
Old setup before it was taken off the bike
New setup! Just swap the entire handlepost unit, together with the new stem and drop bar. To see how to install the handlepost, check out the guide here.
The drop bar manual says that this drop bar is designed to have the drops parallel to the ground
Fixed the drop bar and stem positions as shown.
Ultegra Di2 road shifters such that the hoods are tilted up slightly for better comfort.
Since I had to remove all the brake cables, I took the chance to swap out the brake outer casing for the new Dura-Ace 9000 outer casing. This is to make the braking action even smoother and lighter.
Swapping the brake cable housing
After wiring up everything! The handlebar extension mount was carried over from the previous drop bar and installed on the new drop bar.
New Cane Creek Crosstop levers. Installed slightly nearer to the centre of the drop bar compared to the previous setup,
New stem and 4 bolt handlepost clamp. The Di2 satellite switch is now mounted over the clamp band of the Cane Creek brake levers. It fits perfectly!
Setup looks very similar after the upgrade.
As the handlepost is now shorter, I have to mount the two Moon Comet Front Lights horizontally instead of vertically.
Showing the new curves of the drop bar. Shorter reach to the shifters, and also a more shallow drop. Looks much more comfortable than the previous drop bar!
Front view of the new setup
After trying out the new setup, I found that my riding position has really been improved, to become more comfortable. The shorter reach to the shifters means that I don't stretch out as far, while the shallow drops make it easy for me to stay in the drops for longer distances. In short, the ergonomics and comfort of riding has been improved with this new drop bar setup.
As for the stiffness of the new setup, it feels similar to the previous one-piece 31.5cm handlepost. Although the addition of a stem should make the handling feel less stiff, the wider position of the stem clamps and the oversized drop bar compensates for this. Most importantly, the comfort has been improved!
Overall view of the new setup